PM Sharif intensifies efforts to shift world’s focus on Kashmiris’ plight under occupation

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UNITED NATIONS, Sept 21 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has stepped up his efforts to focus international attention on the gross human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir as he continues his meetings with world leaders gathered in New York for the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.

Besides his formal talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo on Tuesday, the prime minister informally met several leaders at UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s luncheon for the visiting dignitaries. He also interacted with some leaders in the General Assembly hall when he participated in the opening session of the General Debate.

Presidents, a monarch, prime ministers, vice presidents and top-level figures—numbering about 140 — are attending the annual session being held under tight security.

Briefing reporters on Tuesday evening, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said that the prime minister’s “Kashmir Mission” is succeeding as there was greater awareness among delegates about the situation in Kashmir where Indian troops are trying to crush a popular uprising for the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination.

During his meeting with his Japanese counterpart, PM Sharif raised the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and apprised him about the suffering of the Kashmiri people at the hands of India.

On the bilateral front, the two prime ministers discussed the need to further strengthen trade and economic ties. PM Sharif highlighted Pakistan’s economic growth and the potential to enhanced Japanese investments in the country.

Prime Minister Sharif thanked President Erdogan’s for Turkey’s strong statements of support for the Kashmiri people. He briefed the Turkish leader on the current situation in the Kashmir valley and urged him to pressure India to stop the human rights violations in Kashmir.

Both sides expressed satisfaction on bilateral investment initiatives. It was agreed to further boost trade and investment ties so as to realize their full potential.

Regional situations in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and the Middle East were also discussed.

The prime minister also thanked the Turkish government for its support to Pakistan’s candidature for the membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Meanwhile, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affair, Sartaj Aziz, also spent a busy day lobbying for Kashmir cause. He held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Japan, Austria and Switzerland. During these meetings he raised the Kashmir issue and India’s human rights violations and called on the international community to play its part in helping resolve Kashmir dispute in line with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The Adviser also discussed developments in Afghanistan, as well as Pakistan’s successful efforts in counterterrorism. He sought support for Pakistan’s candidature for NSG membership, based on its strong credentials in non-proliferation as well as nuclear safety and security.

On Wednesday (Today), the Prime Minister will deliver his address at the UN General Assembly that is expected to centre on Kashmir. He will also meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.